Darryl Lewis, American security adviser contracted by former Katanga governor Moïse Katumbi has sued Congolese Justice Minister Alexis Thambwe Mwamba and the Chief of Intelligence Service, Kalev Mutond and is seeking 4.5 million USD as damages.
Mwamba has accused Lewis of being a mercenary sent to the DRC as part of an opposition plan to assassinate President Joseph Kabila. Lewis denied the accusations against him saying his ordeal began when the Congolese Intelligence Service (ANR) police arrested him and three of his colleagues on April 24, 2016, during a political rally for opposition leader Moïse Katumbi.
In a complaint filed on July 29, Lewis says he had been working for Katumbi as an unarmed security adviser. Lewis alleges that the ANR dragged the four men out of their cars, assaulted them and confiscated their belongings.
According to the 12-page complaint, Lewis underwent harsh interrogation at a jail in Lubumbashi that included physical abuse. The lawsuit indicates that “the object of the interrogation was to obtain a false confession that Mr. Lewis was an American mercenary soldier”.
The ANR then moved him to the capital city of Kinshasa for six weeks, where he reportedly underwent further robust interrogations.
« Mr. Lewis and other Americans have been singled out by defendants for persecution, false accusations, mistreatment, torture, illegal detention, and/or expulsion because they are Americans and, in the case of veterans such as Mr. Lewis, because they are veterans, » the lawsuit states.
The Congolese authorities released Lewis on 8 June 2016, after diplomatic negotiations undertaken by the US Embassy in Kinshasa.